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Would you let your yr3 child go to the shop?

(86 Posts)
ShinyNewNameTimeAgain Sat 28-Dec-19 14:33:36

Talking about New Years resolutions and Ds has just asked me if in 2020 would I let him go to the shop. During the week at home it’s me, 7yo ds1 and 4yo ds2 who is a complete handful. Probably about once a week I’ll forget something from the shop and end up dragging the dc’s back up there then take about 30 minutes in there trying to buy this one thing while ds2 runs away/ knocks things over/ tries to get in the staff only bit/ puts things I don’t want in the basket/ screams like a banshee if I tie him to myself or a buggy. If ds1 could go it would be a lot easier for us all and ds1 would get a certain amount of freedom.

Some basic facts

1. 7 does seem very young to let him wander on his own and he does look older for his age so I’d hate for anyone to say anything and him panic.
2. The shop is only about 100 metres away with no roads to cross but also round a bend so I couldn’t actually watch him from the window all the way from the house to going into the shop.
3. It’s only a small local co-op with about 3 aisles which makes me feel slightly better than if it were a supermarket, I also know the staff so I could let them know to expect him on his own on occasion.
4. I wouldn’t ever let him go in the dark or late at night
5. It is by the local college which has a pretty bad reputation. There are often kids hanging around the shop even way outside school times who make comments to any passing kids. They’ve never said anything to us but I don’t know if that’s due to kids being with me or just because they’re only interested in being dicks to older kids.
6. The cat would walk with him, wait for him and walk back with him again.
7. I can give him an old PAYG phone to carry in case he’s worried.
8. Ds is a very sensible child but also has his head in the clouds a lot. When walking home from school he has on several occasions walked straight past our house.

I haven’t said whether he can or can’t yet. Dh and I are going through a very rough patch where he refuses to discuss anything with me. So please pretend that I am your parenting partner and let me know what you’d do and why.

Paddingtonthebear Sat 28-Dec-19 14:37:09

I wouldn’t let my 7yr old (in Y2) go anywhere alone yet.

Paddingtonthebear Sat 28-Dec-19 14:38:41

The local junior school won’t allow them to walk to/from school alone until year 5 onwards, I think that’s 9-10yrs

Itsigginingtolookalotlikexmas Sat 28-Dec-19 14:39:52

I have a 7 and a half year old and no chance at all. Actually I would think leaving them in the house in front of Frozen and running to the shop yourself would probably be safer.

ouch321 Sat 28-Dec-19 14:40:05

If in DOUBT
Wait it OUT

Made that up, just for you :-)

Todayissunny Sat 28-Dec-19 14:40:36

Yes. It will be great for him. Build his confidence and sense of responsibility.
Where I live kids walk to school alone from about 4.5 - 5 years old. We sent our kids to the local village shop alone then.

ShinyNewNameTimeAgain Sat 28-Dec-19 14:42:13

Sorry, also forgot to add. We live in a small, very safe town in Devon.

sameasiteverwasantiques Sat 28-Dec-19 14:44:04

My son is 8 (year 4) goes to the shop for me sometimes.

beela Sat 28-Dec-19 14:44:06

It's hard to say without knowing your ds, or the area you live in.

My ds has been going to the shop on his own since just before his 7th birthday. Its also about 100 yards away and around a bend so I can't see it from our house. But we live in a small village, so no teenagers from the college to worry about.

mastertomsmum Sat 28-Dec-19 14:44:19

I probably wouldn’t. It might seem impossible now with your younger one, but it will get better. Likewise your older child will be more responsible the older they get.

ShinyNewNameTimeAgain Sat 28-Dec-19 14:45:56

Thanks.
I think I’ll tell him to ask again after his birthday in August.

Itsigginingtolookalotlikexmas Sat 28-Dec-19 14:46:27

It's a small and very safe place with a local college with a bad reputation? confused
In all honesty working on the younger child's behaviour would be a more sensible solution.

DCIRozHuntley Sat 28-Dec-19 14:46:33

I'd probably say he may be able to by the end of the year. My DD is in year 3 and I've started letting her go on ahead to choose sweets / pick up bread and I catch up and check on her, give her the cash and wait outside while she pays. This helps her to get used to it without it being so in-at-the-deep-end.

I don't think it's fair that DS1 has to grow up too quickly because his brother is a handful. Take your time over it and take.small steps to helping him be ready. If you're having to ask on an anonymous forum then perhaps you have some reticence yourself?

RedskyAtnight Sat 28-Dec-19 14:47:01

If the shop is only 100m away, then absolutely. If you wanted to "break him in gently" you could do it by stages - walk with him to the shop, but then let him go in by himself; walk part way with him; let him walk on his own, but meet him outside to go back etc.

Dizzygirl00 Sat 28-Dec-19 14:49:22

Absolutely not

Snaleandthewhail Sat 28-Dec-19 14:51:02

My son is a similar age and our coop is a little further away and across a busy road. That said, if I crossed him across the road i think I’d let him go in and get himself the stuff we needed by the end of the year the way he’s maturing.

I’ve once let him walk home the 13 minutes or so from school, bizarrely not a school day but a day we were caught in a traffic jam going past his school and he was car sick. I couldn’t do anything but he walked home. Due to the jam he was visible from the car nearly all the way home but he beat us there.

sunshineandshowers21 Sat 28-Dec-19 14:51:47

i didn’t let my son go to shop alone until last year, he was 11. the shop is around 5 minutes away with one very quiet road. my neighbour though lets her 5 year old go with his 8 year old brother. i think 7, or even 8, is too young to go anywhere alone tbh.

Macca84 Sat 28-Dec-19 14:55:54

100m away - sounds absolutely fine to me? Or I could be just a bad parent blush My DD was out knocking for her mates and walking to the shops/school alone at that age.

Macca84 Sat 28-Dec-19 14:57:52

I'm impressed by your cat though

MetroMe Sat 28-Dec-19 15:00:22

So much depends on the specific circumstances. You know in yourself when they are ready. They also know themselves when they are ready to be a bit more independent.

I would work up to it as PP have suggested. Let him go in ahead, or you go in but wait at the register and see if he can pay on his own with you there at his side. Or get him to pick a few items out while you are in a different aisle Then start waiting outside for him. Give him space to try out independence slowly and soon you will both be ready smile

FlashingFedora Sat 28-Dec-19 15:01:11

Mine was playing out, going to the local shop and walking to school with friends at 7, nearer 8 though. As long as he's sensible I don't see an issue especially with no roads to cross.
The road to independence has to start somewhere and the local shop is usually a safe bet. I found having to converse with shopkeepers, count change etc really boosted my ds's confidence at that age.

ShinyNewNameTimeAgain Sat 28-Dec-19 15:04:07

The schools got a bad reputation in that it has been known for bullying, not actual stabbing or crime or anything is what I meant. And trust me I am doing everything I can for ds2, he’s currently under assessment for autism but thanks for the suggestion 👍.

I’m asking on here as I don’t really have anyone to ask in real life. I was one of those kids who was walking 3 miles to school from age 4 and it never did me any harm. Obviously that’s no longer acceptable though so hence my question.

I know he’s only in year 3 and still got plenty of time yet. I’m just already worrying as he’s the youngest in his year and as soon as he starts secondary, a few days after his 11th birthday, he’ll (hopefully) be going to a school that will require a half mile walk, then a bus ride that he’ll have to buy a daily ticket for, then another walk to get to school.

BlankTimes Sat 28-Dec-19 15:05:30

I'm bothered that the teens would target the cat.

ShinyNewNameTimeAgain Sat 28-Dec-19 15:07:36

I hadn’t considered the cat actually. If I sent him on a weekend or during school holidays it would almost certainly be teen free. They just seem to congregate there on school days.

KnickyKnacky2020 Sat 28-Dec-19 15:10:05

Yes I would if he's a sensible child. I am going to start giving my 9 yr old (yr 5) more independence next year.

Was thinking a trip to the shops would be a good start although he would have to cross a couple of roads.

Best to start small and build up. The lack of independence you see on MN is quite sad.

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